Natures Menu – Real Food Pets Love
We are pleased to announce that we have started stocking Natures Menu raw pet food at our Great Dunmow practice, including a range of raw nuggets and raw food treats.
Natures Menu believe that cats and dogs deserve real, wholesome food that is free from artificial colours and flavourings, meat derivatives and other nasties.
All their food products are regularly tested for bacteria such as salmonella, and undergo a strict manufacturing and freezing protocol to ensure they are safe for consumption.
Natures Menu have been making raw pet food since 1981, are a member of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, and are Defra Approved (28/720/9200 ABP/PTF).
What is Raw Food?
Natures Menu raw food is made up of human grade meats, fish. fruit, vegetables and carbohydrates. As the name suggests, they are uncooked, totally in their raw form. All the ingredients are blended together and formed into nuggets, which make it easy to weigh out as required, or mince blocks for larger appetites or multiple pets.
Natures menu raw food is frozen for freshness, so you will need to defrost it before feeding (this can be done overnight in the fridge).
Do I Need to Cook the Food Before Feeding it to My Pet?
No – the idea is that you feed the food in it’s defrosted, raw form. Though, because you will be handling raw meat, please take extra care when handling the raw food by storing it safely in the fridge/freezer, washing your hands, cleaning preparation surfaces, and cleaning up your pet’s bowl afterwards.
Does a Raw Food Diet Contain Everything My Pet Needs?
Natures Menu raw foods are nutritionally balanced, complete pet foods. Because many pets find them easily digestible, they can be particularly beneficial to pets suffering from:
- Sensitive digestion
- Appetite issues
- Food intolerances
What Are The Benefits of Feeding Raw Food?
The benefits commonly noticed by pet owners after switching to a raw diet include;
- Fresher breath
- Cleaner teeth
- More stable energy levels/less hyperactivity
- Settling of sensitive stomachs
- Reduction in allergies and intolerance to certain ingredients
- Increase in appetite
- Less faltulence
- Can help improve anal gland issues
- Some conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy have reportedly required less medication to control
- Low fat food options can reduce the symptoms of colitis and similar conditions
- Stools are harder, smaller, and easier to clear up
- Improvements in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and skin conditions
- Improved energy levels in the older dog
Obviously these results are not guaranteed, and not seen in every pet who tries a raw food diet, but many owners report some benefits. Raw feeding is here as an option should you wish to try it.
Can’t I Just Blend Up a Chicken and Feed My Dog That?
Where as cats are complete carnivores and require a meat diet, dogs are different. That’s why the raw cat and dog foods are specially designed around your pets dietary requirements.
Dogs are not wolves! Whereas wolves have a predators diet of predominantly meat, dogs have evolved to be able to digest starch (carbohydrates). In fact, out of the 36 genetic differences between dogs and wolves, 19 of them are based around the digestion of starch! Therefore your dog is designed to eat simple sugars from fruit and vegetables, as well as more complex carbohydrates found in grains (bar any intolerance or allergies). More to the point, they need the range of vitamins and minerals this variation provides.
So no, a ground up whole chicken isn’t a balanced diet for your dog.
Breed-Specific Diets and Puppy/Kitten Food
When following a raw food diet, it is not practice to follow breed-specific protocols. Rather, there is a puppy raw food formulation which is higher in fat to provide enough energy for a growing puppy’s needs, and an adult formula which can be used from about 20 weeks onwards.
Because the food is effectively soft when thawed, there isn’t the need for smaller or larger kibble sizes. As long as you follow the recommended feeding amounts (easily found on the packaging) each pet will receive the correct level of nutrients.
Kittens can be weaned onto the raw and natural meals from about 3 weeks of age.
Raw Feeding Safely
- Keep frozen until required
- Defrost before serving
- Use within 24 of defrosting
- Treat as you would normally handle raw meat
- Never refreeze
- Only ever feed raw bones, not cooked, 1-3 times a week
The Natures Menu Frozen Raw Food Range
Country Hunter – premium meals with single and dual protein options, with 80% meat content, added superfoods and grain and gluten free
Natures Menu Everyday – Complete and balanced frozen raw food combining meat/fish, vegetables, fruits and grains (for dogs) or meat/fish and fruit for cats.
Treats – a variety of chicken wings, duck wings, and raw bones for the ultimate snack!
Most of Natures Menu products contain some trace of bone, usually minced, apart from the beef mince and tripe.
Full range now available at Mercer and Hughes Great Dunmow
We stock the Natures Menu treats, mixes, pouches, and tins at our Saffron Walden surgery, and the Natures Menu raw frozen range can be ordered for collection.